The Rock recently shared the tale of how he met Hulk Hogan.
Former wrestling icon Hulk Hogan was fired from the WWE in 2015 after tapes of him using racial slurs were leaked. The scandal left a significant damper on Hogan’s legacy and reputation, and he’s worked hard in trying to repair it by apologizing multiple times for his language.
Though many now view Hogan as a disgraced hero, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson recently sat down and shared an emotional and positive story about The Hulkster. During an interview with Kevin McCarthy (while promoting his latest film, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), The Rock shared a story about how he first met Hogan.
Rock told a story about seeing Hogan compete against Mr. Wonderful at Madison Square Garden sometime in the early ’80s. Hogan then threw his wrestling headband into the crowd, and Rock managed to catch it.
Here’s the rest of the story, according to The Rock:
“So I went over to him, and I was like, ‘Mr. Hogan … I caught your headband.’ And he goes, ‘Oh man! That was my last one! I didn’t want to throw it out! Thank you so much! … Thanks man!’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, okay. You’re welcome, Hulk.’ …
“He did [take it back], but he didn’t know how bad I wanted it. But here’s how cool Hulk Hogan was. Two or three weeks later, he had thousands [of headbands] made. Went to my dad, he goes, ‘Hey, I signed this for your son. He gave me my only one back, and I needed that one, as one to make a thousand other copies. Give this back. Give this to him.’
And I have one of those. Isn’t that the coolest thing? So Hogan, if you’re watching, I appreciate it, brother. I still have it.”
Hogan was known for being charismatic and approachable for kids during his heydays in the ’80s and ’90s, so this story will not surprise many. For The Rock, he had no idea that he and Hogan would later face off at WrestleMania X8 in Toronto.
Though a number of wrestlers—including Bret Hart, Booker T, and Mark Henry —shared disappointment in Hogan’s racial scandal, other wrestlers like Virgil, Kamala, and Kevin Nash offered support for him. In fact, Triple H has even admitted that there’s a possibility about Hogan coming back to the WWE.
No matter how you feel about Hogan today, you can’t deny that the gesture he did for The Rock was over-the-top awesome. In his apology on Good Morning America, Hogan did add that it’s unfair to judge someone for their biggest mistake. We’ll find out someday if WWE can make amends with Hogan and bury the hatchet yet again.
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